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Illustrator CS5 Essential Training

Managing repeating artwork with symbols


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Illustrator CS5 Essential Training

with Mordy Golding

Video: Managing repeating artwork with symbols

One of the best ways to become more efficient in using Illustrator is using something called Symbols. Now I am going to expand my dock over here, so that we can see the Symbols panel, which appears right here. Many people, unfortunately, think that the Symbols panel is just something where you store clipart. However, that's far from the truth. A Symbol is a very efficient way of building repeating artwork inside of Illustrator. When you define artwork as a symbol, and as we'll see, you could take any artwork at all inside of Illustrator with the lone exception of a linked image, and you can define that artwork as a symbol.
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  1. 3m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. What is Illustrator CS5?
      1m 46s
    3. Using the exercise files
      31s
  2. 12m 37s
    1. What are vector graphics?
      6m 3s
    2. Path and appearance
      3m 42s
    3. Stacking
      2m 52s
  3. 32m 6s
    1. The Welcome screen
      2m 23s
    2. Creating files for print
      6m 7s
    3. Creating files for the screen
      2m 55s
    4. Using prebuilt templates
      2m 40s
    5. Adding XMP metadata
      4m 18s
    6. Exploring the panels
      6m 33s
    7. Using the Control panel
      3m 11s
    8. Using workspaces
      3m 59s
  4. 43m 44s
    1. Navigating within a document
      9m 15s
    2. Using rulers and guides
      7m 26s
    3. Using grids
      3m 6s
    4. Using the bounding box
      3m 37s
    5. Using Smart Guides
      5m 56s
    6. The Hide Edges command
      3m 22s
    7. Various preview modes
      3m 47s
    8. Creating custom views
      4m 3s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 12s
  5. 28m 46s
    1. Using the basic selection tools
      8m 50s
    2. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 22s
    3. Using the Lasso tool
      2m 28s
    4. Selecting objects by attribute or type
      3m 37s
    5. Saving and reusing selections
      2m 15s
    6. Selecting artwork beneath other objects
      2m 13s
    7. Exploring selection preferences
      4m 1s
  6. 1h 16m
    1. The importance of modifier keys
      1m 52s
    2. Drawing closed path primitives
      11m 38s
    3. Drawing open path primitives
      5m 47s
    4. Understanding anchor points
      3m 43s
    5. Drawing straight paths with the Pen tool
      7m 37s
    6. Drawing curved paths with the Pen tool
      9m 47s
    7. Drawing freeform paths with the Pencil tool
      5m 33s
    8. Smoothing and erasing paths
      3m 8s
    9. Editing anchor points
      7m 21s
    10. Joining and averaging paths
      10m 9s
    11. Simplifying paths
      4m 55s
    12. Using Offset Path
      2m 17s
    13. Cleaning up errant paths
      2m 32s
  7. 48m 26s
    1. The Draw Inside and Draw Behind modes
      7m 34s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 56s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      8m 0s
    4. Using the Shape Builder tool
      10m 28s
    5. Using Pathfinder functions
      8m 6s
    6. Splitting an object into a grid
      1m 16s
    7. Using the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      7m 6s
  8. 49m 5s
    1. Creating point text
      4m 2s
    2. Creating area text
      8m 13s
    3. Applying basic character settings
      7m 44s
    4. Applying basic paragraph settings
      4m 28s
    5. Creating text threads
      8m 25s
    6. Setting text along an open path
      6m 29s
    7. Setting text along a closed path
      6m 24s
    8. Converting text into paths
      3m 20s
  9. 18m 55s
    1. Create a logo mark
      11m 26s
    2. Add type to your logo
      7m 29s
  10. 42m 42s
    1. Using the Appearance panel
      8m 21s
    2. Targeting object attributes
      4m 42s
    3. Adding multiple attributes
      4m 25s
    4. Applying Live Effects
      5m 18s
    5. Expanding appearances
      4m 42s
    6. Appearance panel settings
      4m 33s
    7. Copying appearances
      4m 51s
    8. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      5m 50s
  11. 34m 0s
    1. Applying color to artwork
      5m 57s
    2. Creating process and global process swatches
      8m 54s
    3. Creating spot color swatches
      3m 19s
    4. Loading PANTONE and other custom color libraries
      4m 49s
    5. Organizing colors with Swatch Groups
      3m 31s
    6. Finding color suggestions with the Color Guide panel
      4m 24s
    7. Loading the Color Guide with user-defined colors
      3m 6s
  12. 50m 23s
    1. Creating gradients with the Gradient panel
      8m 12s
    2. Modifying gradients with the Gradient Annotator
      4m 37s
    3. Applying and manipulating pattern fills
      5m 33s
    4. Defining your own custom pattern fills
      9m 13s
    5. Applying basic stroke settings
      5m 22s
    6. Creating strokes with dashed lines
      3m 41s
    7. Adding arrowheads to strokes
      2m 45s
    8. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 35s
    9. Working with width profiles
      2m 36s
    10. Turning strokes into filled paths
      3m 49s
  13. 32m 46s
    1. Creating and editing groups
      8m 18s
    2. Adding attributes to groups
      12m 17s
    3. The importance of using layers
      5m 9s
    4. Using and "reading" the Layers panel
      7m 2s
  14. 12m 13s
    1. Creating and using multiple artboards
      7m 52s
    2. Modifying artboards with the Artboards panel
      2m 2s
    3. Copy and paste options with Artboards
      2m 19s
  15. 31m 10s
    1. Moving and copying artwork
      3m 55s
    2. Scaling or resizing artwork
      6m 47s
    3. Rotating artwork
      2m 44s
    4. Reflecting and skewing artwork
      2m 34s
    5. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 15s
    6. Repeating transformations
      3m 39s
    7. Performing individual transforms across multiple objects
      2m 10s
    8. Aligning objects and groups precisely
      4m 27s
    9. Distributing objects and spaces between objects
      2m 39s
  16. 35m 40s
    1. Placing pixel-based content into Illustrator
      5m 14s
    2. Managing images with the Links panel
      4m 49s
    3. Converting pixels to paths with Live Trace
      8m 44s
    4. Making Live Trace adjustments
      6m 9s
    5. Controlling colors in Live Trace
      6m 4s
    6. Using Photoshop and Live Trace together
      4m 40s
  17. 14m 42s
    1. Managing repeating artwork with symbols
      4m 38s
    2. Modifying and replacing symbol instances
      3m 8s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      6m 56s
  18. 16m 57s
    1. Cropping photographs
      1m 59s
    2. Clipping artwork with masks
      3m 22s
    3. Clipping the contents of a layer
      3m 31s
    4. Defining masks with soft edges
      8m 5s
  19. 26m 2s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      7m 48s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      8m 46s
    3. Moving flat art onto the perspective grid
      9m 28s
  20. 25m 8s
    1. Printing your Illustrator document
      3m 26s
    2. Saving your Illustrator document
      6m 39s
    3. Creating PDF files for clients and printers
      7m 30s
    4. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Microsoft Office
      1m 4s
    5. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Photoshop
      2m 31s
    6. Exporting artwork for use on the web
      3m 3s
    7. Exporting high-resolution raster files
      55s
  21. 2m 18s
    1. Additional Illustrator learning resources
      1m 36s
    2. Goodbye
      42s

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Illustrator CS5 Essential Training
10h 37m Beginner Apr 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Illustrator CS5 Essential Training, author Mordy Golding explains the core concepts and techniques that apply to any workflow in Illustrator, whether designing for print, the web, or assets for other applications. This course includes a detailed explanation of the elements that make up vector graphics—paths, strokes, and fills—and shows how to use each of Illustrator's drawing tools. Also demonstrated are techniques for combining and cleaning up paths, organizing paths into groups and layers, text editing, working with color, effects, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Setting up a new document based on the output destination
  • Using rules, guides, and grids
  • Making detailed selections
  • Drawing and editing paths with the Pen and Pencil tools
  • Creating compound vector shapes
  • Understanding the difference between point and area text
  • Applying live effects
  • Creating color swatches
  • Transforming artwork with Rotation, Scale, and Transform effects
  • Placing images
  • Working with masks
  • Printing, saving, and exporting artwork
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Mordy Golding

Managing repeating artwork with symbols

One of the best ways to become more efficient in using Illustrator is using something called Symbols. Now I am going to expand my dock over here, so that we can see the Symbols panel, which appears right here. Many people, unfortunately, think that the Symbols panel is just something where you store clipart. However, that's far from the truth. A Symbol is a very efficient way of building repeating artwork inside of Illustrator. When you define artwork as a symbol, and as we'll see, you could take any artwork at all inside of Illustrator with the lone exception of a linked image, and you can define that artwork as a symbol.

Once you do so, Illustrator stores that artwork inside of the Symbols panel, and you can then reuse that artwork as many times as you want throughout your file, but they don't add to your file size. They all reference that original piece of artwork that's inside of the Symbols panel. The real benefit, however, of working in this way, is that if you need to update that artwork at any time, you can make that update to the original art inside the Symbols panel and wherever that art is used throughout the rest of your document, it updates automatically.

So let's take a look at how we create symbols inside of Illustrator and how we can start to use them inside of our layouts. Now in this document, I have four different pieces of art at the top of the document here. They're all different types of flowers, and I want to use these as some kind of design elements as I start designing these gift cards. So I am going to start by just selecting this flower right here, and I am going to go to the Symbols panel. I am going to click on this button over here to create a brand-new symbol. I am going to give it a name. Let's called this one Poppy, and we'll click OK.

Now you can see at that symbol appears inside of the Symbols panel. In addition, Illustrator now took the piece of art that was on the artboard before and converted it to something called an Instance. Now the symbol itself is the artwork that sits inside of the Symbols panel, but each time that I have a piece of that art reference on the artboard, we refer to that as a Symbol Instance. This object right here is no longer the regular piece of art. It's a reference to my original artwork or what sometimes people call an FPO, or For Position Only.

Let me show you now another way to create a symbol inside of Illustrator. I am going to select this flower right here, and I am simply going to drag it right into the Symbols panel. Notice now the Symbol Options dialog box appears, I am going to call this one Lilly, and I am going to click OK to define that as a symbol. Now I have two more symbols to create. I am going to select this one right here, and I am going to use the keyboard shortcut for defining a symbol, which is F8 or Function 8 on your keyboard. I am going to call this one Daisy. Finally, I am going to select this piece of artwork, and I'll press F8 again and call this one Sunflower, great! So now I have defined all of these symbols, and I now have Instances out on the artboard.

By the way, if I want to add additional Instances, I can either drag out the symbols directly onto the artboard, or I can copy them using the Selection tool as I've done with other objects, by just Option+Dragging them to define a copy. Now that I have created these symbols, I can very easily position them and put them where I want inside of my design. A Symbol Instance can also be resized. Notice that I have a Bounding Box around it. I can hold down the Shift key and resize these Symbol Instances, maybe I'll add a Lilly down here as well, make it just a drop smaller, kind of right here, and then maybe we'll add a little Daisy here as well, make that one just a drop smaller.

So you can see that you can easily position the artwork as you need throughout your design. I am going to add a few more sunflowers to this design, make it a drop bigger here, then make a little small sunflower, lovely design. Maybe I'll put some of the lilies over here on this piece of artwork, just Option+Drag a few of them. Now I also have the ability to rotate these as well. I am going to switch to my Rotate tool and just simply click and drag, Command+Click to reselect some of these and change the Rotation values.

Finally, on this one, I'll add a few of these flowers, just like that. I don't need these here, so I am just going to delete these from my file. Now I've been able to very easily create artwork using multiple Instances of these symbols. The real benefit of using Symbols, however, is how easy it is to modify or change this artwork if I need to. We are going to cover that in the next movie.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS5 Essential Training.


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Q: Despite clicking the rectangle icon on the toolbar, as shown in the video, the other tool shapes are not accessible in Illustrator. The rectangle is usable, but the star, ellipse, etc. are not, and do not appear anywhere in the toolbar. What is causing this problem?
A: These tools are grouped together, so to access them, click and hold the mouse for a second until the other tools appear. If that isn't happening, reset the Illustrator preferences file. To do so, quit Illustrator and then relaunch the application while pressing and holding the Ctrl+Alt+Shift keys. Once the Illustrator splash screen appears, release the keys and that will reset the preferences file.
Q: In the video “What are vector graphics,” the author states that if he creates a 1 inch x 1 inch Photoshop file at 300ppi image, there are 300 pixels in that image. Is that correct?
A: This statement is by the author was not totally correct. If the resolution is 300ppi, it means that there are 300 pixels across one inch, both vertically and horizontally. That would mean you'd have 90,000 pixels in a 1 inch x 1 inch image at 300 ppi.
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